08.08.2022. This year, INTERHOLCO ranks first in SPOTT’s ESG transparency assessment of 100 timber companies in the tropics. Let’s take a closer look. When it comes to tropical forests, the shortest distance from A to B is, ESG.
‘Shortest’ meaning the most effective i.e. governance-sound and, least harmful – to the whole ecosystem: people, forest, animals, climate and, planet.
Transparency reveals that, INTERHOLCO's FSC®-certified wood products (Forest Stewardship Council® FSC® C022952) hold multiple advantages. For consumers and investors, on the one hand, enabling them to co-create change towards sustainable production and consumption patterns (SDG 12). For architects, designers and specifiers, on the other, giving them THE ideal ally to build green cities and a circular economy (SDG 11).
Transparency is a means to an end: sustainability. Photo © Julian Harneis / Flickr
No one wants to buy wood from forests that fail to take care of people, climate or planet. Yet, striking a balance in the face of global unrest is challenging. Placing emphasis on deforestation alone, inevitably turns heads away from monitoring other environmental, social or economic hotspots. None should be neglected, especially not in the face of how intricately intertwined our world is: economic uncertainty, environmental deluge and social inequality feed off one another.
Led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a British conservation NGO, the SPOTT 2022 assessment examines the transparency of 100 private timber companies in the tropics against 179 indicators of environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. It does not solely rely on commitments or policies, but also looks at progress and implementation on the ground. The evaluation is based on public company information. Scores are higher if it is externally verified.
Ms. Leslie Oboua from our Social team showing forest inhabitants which animals are partially protected by Congolese law. Photo © Interholco
This year, INTERHOLCO published its Biodiversity Policy for species and ecosystems with quantifiable, time-bound targets. And a commitment to zero conversion of all natural ecosystems. Deforestation is monitored since a clear cut-off date. Monitoring applies to suppliers, too. Another indicator monitors whether all workers of timber companies are paid a living wage – despite of or, perhaps owing to, the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. INTERHOLCO transparently disclosed its methodology to calculate a living wage in the Republic of Congo, a country for which no public benchmark exists, as is true of several other countries in the Northern hemisphere.
Value chains evolve. The globalization of trade has established new connections and interdependencies between once distant actors. With its assessment, SPOTT gives us 179 signs to see, how well tropical forests thrive. The evaluation also shows the ability of companies to listen to governments, on the one hand, and civil society, on the other.
Transparency is a means. Sustainability, the end.
Check SPOTT’s 2022 ESG transparency assessment: https://bit.ly/SPOTT-timber-assessment-2022
INTERHOLCO offers Sustainable Hardwood 'Made in Africa' as a responsible solution to promote better living conditions (construction with wood), reduce climate change, and increase social justice. As FSC-certified producer specialized in producing and trading logs, sawn timber, glued laminated scantlings and other products, INTERHOLCO manages the entire chain, from forest to customers since 1962. Harvesting wood selectively, INTERHOLCO protects 1.1 million hectares of natural forest from permanent conversion to agricultural land, giving 16’000 local inhabitants access to quality basic services and keeping the habitat of thousands of gorillas and elephants.
Communications contact INTERHOLCO
Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
INTERHOLCO AG, Neuhofstr. 25, 6340 Baar, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82